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Best volunteer program: Park Pride

Staff Pick

It's no concrete jungle, but Atlanta isn't exactly known for a proliferation of public green space. In fact, before the Beltline increased per-capita parkland acreage by some 40 percent, Atlanta ranked low among major cities, with less than 9 acres per 1,000 residents. Since 1989, PARK PRIDE has striven to keep the city's relatively meager park system in tip-top shape by organizing volunteer efforts and arranging adoptions of most Atlanta parks by individuals and organizations alike. Apparently impressed by the work executive director George Dusenbury did for the nonprofit during his six-year tenure — which includes managing about 15,000 hours of volunteer hours each year — Mayor Kasim Reed tapped Dusenbury earlier this year to become the city's parks and rec commissioner.

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